Thailand’s tourism industry has witnessed a surge in the number of visitors in recent times, with a greater number being Chinese tourists. This came at a time when China’s border was opened following a long and deliberate national border closure by the Chinese government.
On Sunday, an official from Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy reiterated this when he said that Thailand received close to a million Chinese tourists, which added to the number of other nationals to give the country a great leap in the number of tourists between January 2023 and mid-May.
The record stated that there were 9.47 million international tourists from January to mid-May, down from the 11.15 million who came in the entire year of 2022.
In addition, Anucha Burapachaisri, a government spokesperson, said, “The government anticipates the 5 million Chinese tourists it has targeted for this year will arrive. And that the Thai government projects a total of 446 billion baht ($13.18 billion) in tourist spending within the year under review.
According to a report from the government, about 274,000 Chinese tourists visited Thailand last year. While 11 million visited in pre-pandemic 2019.
Thailand’s tourism sector has suffered a major setback, leading to a contraction in its economic growth since COVID-19 struck. It has since bounded back, peaking more than earlier expected in the first quarter of 2023.
Moreso, the country’s GDP grew by 4.2% in the first quarter of 2023. This is attributed to the positive growth indicators from tourism, a core part of Thailand’s economy.
Thailand’s tourism sector is expected to continue its upward growth in the second quarter of the year, considering the positive projections drawn from its growth in the first quarter of 2023.